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Stronghold 2 incompatible with Windows 8/8.1 Fix

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This application is not compatible with the installed operating system.

Please upgrade to windows 98SE, Windows 2000 or better.


More and more users lately have been getting this error, especially on Windows 8/8.1. Rest assured however, that I feel I have finally found some kind of proper fix for this error. It only appears to occur on disk versions of the game.


There are two potential methods I am posting, the first is less drastic, and I recommend you start from here- though there is less chance of it working. The second, is the way in which I have fixed this error (at least for now) for myself.


The cause of this problem is somewhat unknown; for me, the first time it appeared to be caused by a crash, however, the second time this happened to me, I turned my PC on, attempted to start the game and got this error.


Note: This error only seems to occur on Stronghold 2 1.4.1. If you're using an earlier version of the game, this should not affect you, you can verify this by reinstalling the game back down to 1.3.1, and it should work. It will also work if you patch up to 1.4. Only if you install the 1.4.1 patch will the game react. Another suggested cause I've heard is that Windows 8 does not like Direct X 9 at all, which is required to play Stronghold 2. And what worsens this problem is when Direct X 11 is installed. I've also heard that once the game crashes a certain amount of times, Windows 8 will mark it incompatible.


Method 1


Note: I'm using a 64 bit system, therefore I have an sysWOW64 folder in C:\Windows. If you are using a 32-bit version of Windows, I'm sorry to say I do not know how this will work. You could attempt to Google this, or move onto method 2.


  • In your sysWOW64 folder, find the file called d3dx9_27.dll
  • Copy and paste this somewhere else, such as on your desktop
  • Delete the original in sysWOW64
  • Attempt to run the game, which will give you message it can't be ran because the DLL you moved is missing.
  • Now, copy the moved DLL back to the original location, and run the game


This may, or may not work. It probably won't. If/when it doesn't, try a few times. If it doesn't work after two or three attempts, you'll have to use method 2.


Method 2


This is the method that works for me. Unfortunately, it's not as clear into what causes it to work. I'm guessing there is some kind of cache that Windows keeps of incompatible programs, when you reset this, it appears to reset the cache and allow the game to run. Each step is assumed that the previous does not work.


  • Reinstall Stronghold 2.
  • Check the game works on 1.3.1 (the version you installed)
  • Patch up to 1.4, and check the game works again
  • Patch up to 1.4.1, you will almost certainly get the same error
  • Perform the exact same steps above again, without checking if the game works
  • Restart your computer, and check if 1.4.1 will run
  • Download CCleaner
  • Check every box except the "wipe free space", and run
  • Run the registry cleaner
  • Uninstall Stronghold 2
  • Run both cleaners again
  • Now reinstall Stronghold 2, and patch up
  • Restart your computer
  • Run CCleaner, and then attempt to run Stronghold 2 afterwards only


That should work. If it doesn't I can only suggest you attempt to do the same steps waiting a few days between reinstalling, I waited and it eventually worked again. You can also reply to this topic and I'll see what I can do to help you.


The fields have eyes, and the woods have ears.

⁠— Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale

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I had buyed me a new Computer with windows 8.1? 3 weeks ago, i had been installed it and everything was fine.


That's what I like to hear. :) Well, it may be more likely that I would install windows 10 on one of my computer at some moment, but windows 8 is also pretty good as I were able to see, and what holds me back in those decisions is not knowing if my favorite games will work on that newer OS. :)

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I had buyed me a new Computer with windows 8.1? 3 weeksago, i had been installed it and everything was fine.


It appears to randomly happen after playing the game, and mainly with the 1.4.1 version. Sometimes a crash seems like it causes it - others, unknown ...


The fields have eyes, and the woods have ears.

⁠— Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales: The Knight's Tale

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